UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Leading 3-0 with only 11:25 left, the Colorado Avalanche committed a seemingly meaningless penalty to give the New York Islanders a power play.
But then, the Avalanche committed three more infractions over the next 3:44, and the Islanders took advantage to score two 5-on-3 goals.
Somehow, Colorado survived Saturday night.
The Avalanche regained their composure, and held on to beat the Islanders 5-2 — the deceptive margin coming as the result of two empty-net goals in the final minute.
Matt Duchene scored twice in a 2:44 span to give Colorado that three-goal advantage. Nathan MacKinnon got the Avalanche on the board, and Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stasny added the empty-netters. Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed the two 5-on-3 goals, but was otherwise string, stopping 30 shots.
Colorado coach Patrick Roy credited his squad for not panicking after giving up the 5-on-3 goals.
"I thought we remained pretty calm on the bench," Roy said. "We had a power play that gave us some momentum back. ... And we also had (a) great save. I think (Giguere) touched it with his glove at the end. That was a big save for us."
Duchene broke a nine-goal drought to reach 101 for his career.
Roy didn't believe Duchene was pressing in search of his 100th goal.
"People made a big story of that, but not me," Roy said. "He had chances.every night. It was just a matter of time. And tonight he was resilient. He went to the net, he stayed there, and took advantage of the rebound. And then the second shot was a perfect shot. Right under the bar. It was a beauty."
The win snapped a two-game skid for Colorado, and gave it some momentum going into the Olympic break.
"I'm very proud of our players," Roy said. "Hopefully, our guys have a good 10 days off."